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January 2014
Abracadabra... It's an e-Newsletter

Hi. It's me Mike Maione, the Silly Magician. This is the first of what will be a regular monthly newsletter that I hope you'll enjoy and look forward to receiving. It will feature information on making life at home more fulfilling, tips to help make your parties more fun, a simple magic trick you can perform or teach the family to do and items I think are just great. I hope you'll choose to continue to receive the newsletter and pass it on to your friends. Thanks, Mike

Read to Your Kids


A recent study conducted by the literacy nonprofit Reading Is Fundamental found that only one-third of parents read to their kids every night. But for babies and young children, reading fosters an emotional bond with their caregivers and helps them to develop language skills. 


Even as your children learn to read on their own, it's important to continue reading aloud to them, since hearing the words strengthens a child's comprehension. And if you can get your kids to consider reading as fun, you can help give them an academic boost. 


British researchers followed about 6,000 children beginning in 1970 and found that those who read for pleasure scored higher not only in vocabulary and spelling but also in math. 


And don't worry about what your kid is reading. "There's nothing wrong with whatever superhero your child is hooked on. Quantity makes the big difference," says Kathy Barclay, a professor of early childhood and reading at Western Illinois University.


More on reading from Reading is Fundamental

Magic You Can Do - Linking Paper Clips
Linking Paper Clips

Here's a trick you can do or teach anyone young or old. It's easy to do even for 5 year olds. Click on the video link to see it performed and to learn the secret. 

Inexpensive Birthday Party Decorating


Balloons and streamers in the guest of honor's favorite color is always a good decorating idea but instead of balloons, try inexpensive (and reusable) paper lanterns for a different look. 


And instead of hanging streamers, hang a collage of photos of the birthday person. Print out photos from your iPhone or camera and with a glue stick attach them to a piece of poster board. Make it even more interesting by including a request in your invitation for guests to email a photo of themselves with the guest of honor prior to the party to use on the collage. More party decorating on the cheap ideas.


Treasure Hunt
Treasure Hu
Just a Minute
Here's something fun to watch that takes just a minute.
Linking Jumping Paper clip trick



  1. Fold the dollar bill with your fingers between folds. Look down at the top edge of the bill, it should resemble the letter "S."
  2. Attach the first paper clip to the back and middle sections of the "S" of the folded bill. Attach the second paper clip to the middle and front "S" of the fold. One paper clip should be seen from each side of the folded bill.
  3. Grasp each end of the bill with each of your hands. Slowly pull each end apart, unfolding the bill and slowly moving the paper clips closer together.
  4. Pull until the paper clips come together in the middle of the bill. The bill should be completely unfolded at this time, and the paper clips attach to each other and "magically" jump from the bill.
  5. Practice this before trying it in front of an audience. Putting the paper clips on the right folds is important if you want them to connect and magically jump.

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